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Programming for Linsanity

Updated: 2012-03-27 13:30
By Sun Li (China Daily)
Programming for Linsanity

Mainland actor Lu Yulin, a fan of Jeremy Lin and basketball, will star as the TV series' male lead.

While Linsanity seems to be subsiding somewhat in the United States, fanaticism for the point guard seems to be growing in China.

As such, Lafeng Entertainment, a Beijing-based culture and media company, recently announced it will spend 50 million yuan ($7.9 million) making a TV serial based on Lin's story.

Titled Awesome Basketball Kid, the 30-episode series will track the development of a nebbish basketball player of Chinese origin, who spends his time warming the bench, to someone who finally shines on court thanks to his persistence and hard work.

The protagonist will have a name that sounds like the Chinese translation of Lin's name and the show will be filmed in China and the United States.

"Lin's story is amazing. He is a role model, whose determination and perseverance serve as fine source material for an uplifting TV series," says Liu Xiyuan, with Lafeng Entertainment's program department.

"Most people simply saw Lin's halo after he jumped to stardom. They didn't really know what he has gone through, and that's the part we want to present," Liu says. She adds a basketball-themed serial is a rarity on the mainland's TV series stage.

Liu says the series is at a preliminary stage. A production team has gone to New York to arrange filming locations and consult with Lin.

She says the show's producers will try to reach out to Lin and dig up more about the 23-year-old Harvard graduate of Chinese ancestry.

"After talking to Lin, producers will see how far Lin would like to have them go in adapting his story to the small screen," Liu says. "The screenwriter will also add or delete some stuff after hearing Lin's opinions."

Liu points out although the characterization and the partial setting of the United States will remind viewers of the New York Knicks phenom, there will be dramatization and original situations.

"The show will not faithfully follow every detail of Lin's life, nor will it be a documentary about him," Liu says.

Even so, his story will encourage people to pursue their dreams against overwhelming odds, she says.

"In other parts, it will have romantic scenes, which are important segments of the show, as the lead character will be involved in relationships with heroines," she says.

Mainland heartthrob Lu Yulin, a fan of Lin and basketball, has been cast as the series' male lead.